Mohawk Hudson Chapter
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Trip Reports - 2016


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June 28 - Invasive Species Identification Walk
Guided by two extremely knowledgable persons who very generously gave of their time we walked the trail at the Normanskill West Preserve looking at, taking pictures of and taking notes of the very diverse invasive species to be found there. Laurel Gailor, coordinator of PRISM (Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management, and Connie Tedesco, stewartship director for Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy pointed out a range of plants and evidences of ash borer insect infestation. Our group consisted of three members of our chapter along with seven non members. A sampling of what we saw included: bittersweet, shrubby honeysuckle, black locust, Norway maple, multiflora rose, buckthorn, garlic mustard, common reed, ash trees with evidence of ash borer infestation, burning bush, barberry, pruit, tree of heaven, Canada thistle, loosestrife, mugwort, and floating on top of the Normanskill, Eurasian multifoil. Laurel, besides pointing out the various plants and insects, gave us information about why the plants we saw are particularly threating to native species and ideas about what we can do in the future to promote native plant propagation where now there are invasive plants.



  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: David Drotar, Ellen Kozlowski, Dodie Seagle, Pete Seagle, Connie Tedesco, Laurel Gailor, Nancy Crowther, Miles Garfinkel, Matt Thatcher




June 25 - Brush Back Trail Work on the Appalachian Trail
With the help and guidance of Dave Koerber and Cosmo Catalano, trail supervisors of the Appalachian Trail Conference, we were able to cut back about two thirds of the brush encroaching on the trail alongside a farmer's field. It was hot sweaty work, but at the end a feeling of satisfaction settled in amongst our crew as we ate lunch, and we vowed to complete the work later this Summer or Fall.


  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Cosmo Catalano, Dave Koerber, Mike Boucher, Dave Esmond, Jean Laverdure




June 10 - Massachusetts Central Rail Trail Cycle
This cycle was rescheduled by the leader from Wednesday, June 8 to Friday, June 10. Five of us paddled just short of 25 miles from a parking lot at Exit 19 of I 91, Northampton, over the Connecticut River through Hadley and Amherst into Belchertown. We saw lush, rolling farmland, wetlands, Amherst College campus, and conservation land. We lunched near the wetlands looking for beaver activity. We returned to the parking lot, said farewell to one of our members, and four proceeded to cycle into Northampton a 3+ mile addition to the original plan where we found ice cream! It is a long drive to and from, but the trail is well maintained and the sights lovely.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Blanche Nelson, Mary MacDonald, Margaret Grogan, Karen Lydon




June 4 - Trails Day at Dyken Pond
The three of us joined many other volunteers in a day dedicated to fixing problems existing at Dyken Pond Environmental Center. We three helped out in transporting wood to a muddy spot on one of the trails. While walking to the work area, Leonard Tremblay who is the President of the Friends of Dyken Pond, graciously told us a little about the history and future of Dyken Pond. Afterwards, we were treated to a BBQ lunch provided by the folks at Dyken Pond.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Mary O'Connell, David Esmond




May 21 - Survey of the Long Path through Thacher Park
By walking the entire length of the Long Path as it traverses Thacher Park from the southern to the northern ends we accomplished two objectives. One was the survey of the trail done for the New York, New Jersey Trail Conference that we are responsible for, and two was to gain a further appreciation of all that Thacher Park represents. No major problems were encountered. The two participants enjoyed the views and looked at the new construction taking place there.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Mary O'Connell




May 18 - Trail Work on the Rensselaer Tech Park Trails
For our initial foray towards our goal of rehabilitating the trails located at this centrally located location, we cleared the newly flagged alternative trail for the northern trail. Our purpose was to provide a cleared path that we could later further in June with the help of our consultant. As we are partnering with Rensselaer Land Trust, the entire crew consisted of members of the Rensselaer Land Trust along with our members. The number of volunteers was a staggering 14. It turned out that even with the many volunteers, the work was done very efficiently and not surprisingly very quickly. Some stayed for lunch at the creek. We talked with one of the staff of a nearby facility after finishing who was thrilled with the prospect of a nearby trail.

  Leader: Francille Egbert  Co-leader: John Tifft  Participants: Peter Wood, Marcy Steinberg, John Husson, Mike Boucher, Matt Thatcher, Linda Stadlander, Mary O'Connell, Nancy Crowther, Will Crowther, Mary Hall, Chuck Porter, Sharon Bedford




May 11 - Schoharie Crossing Hike
We met at Schoharie Crossing visitor's center in Fort Hunter, NY. We had good weather, and walked on the Erie Canal tow path 2.5 miles to the old Canal Store at Yankee Lock, and then returned for a total of 5 miles. The old Canal Store is not usually open, but since a school group was touring it there was a ranger on duty who had opened it. Both it and the visitor's center have exhibits and bathrooms. In the course of our walk we saw several interesting old locks, the original Erie Canal, the enlarged Erie Canal, and the Barge Canal (the Mohawk River). We had our lunch at a picnic table at Yankee Lock.

  Leader: Will Crowther, Nancy Crowther  Participants: Bob Fakundiny, Anne Finch, Dee Portzer, Kathleen Helfrich, Marcia Schultz, Mary O'Connell

the group in front of the old aqueduct across Schoharie Creek (carried Erie Canal)





May 7 - Taconic Crest Trail Trail Work
With a little doubt as to the weather forecast, four members of our chapter along with the generous giving of time and information by Ed Slattery, we attempted to ensure that our section of the trail was cleared for the end to end walk scheduled for the following week. What we found thanks to Ed's previous surveying efforts, was a multitude of "mudholes" created by ATV use. We did what we could to drain and fill these "mudholes" along with clearing the waterbars. By noontime, we found that we were all exhausted, and with the threat of more rain, we had lunch, and turned around without having taken care of the last steep section to the summit.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Sharon Bonk, Jean Laverdure, Mike Boucher, Ed Slattery






April 14 - Beebe Hill to Harvey Mountain
2016 Beebe Hill to Harvey Mtn A3B On a beautiful day for tramping a large solitude of woods, a group of 7 AMC Mohawk-Hudson Chapter members (Jean, John, Ellen, Mike, Sharon, Kevin & Dave) myself acting as guide reached, exploring the Red-Blazed Trail from Beebe Hill to Harvey Mtn crossing an expanse of state forest by first enjoying the all-around views including our destination from Beebe Hill Fire Tower (crossing Cty Rte 5 & NY Rte 22). Starting at Engel Rd, the trail was mostly an easy follow, due to impressive Mtn Biker improvements to major portions of the path. Two Bridges between Rtes 5 & 22 eased our passage, our first crossing the Bear Creek Bridge with lunch afterward at the Green River Bridge; while but two problematic trail areas appeared along the way. The first was before the bridge crossings below Turkey Hill where a biker-well-beaten Blue Trail junctions with the Red Trail, here continuing to descend trying to follow Red Blazes led away from the well beaten path into a limbo, forcing us to rejoin the Bike Path / Red Trail to our left; the second was after the crossing of Rte 22 where the trail briefly follows an old tote road and my missing a right turn into a well-blazed passage through evergreens. Halting the group, I backtracked to find our lost path, from this point the Red Trail altho well-blazed is not so very well maintained crossing a series of blowdowns and poor drainage till it reaches the trail register and Blue Trail junction west to trail head parking. From here, the Red Trail climbs an easy double to single track which leads up to Harvey Mtn's blueberry fields, MA Benchmark, and NY/MA boundary marker with field views including the Appalachian Trail's Jug End summit. My plan is to offer this tramp as a summertime Chapter Hike to include the enjoyment of ripe blueberries. This outing may have been a Chapter first, the crossing between these two peaks certainly was for all trampers involved. A short gravel road descent returned us to our waiting return vehicle along Harvey Mtn Road. [8.3 + 0.6 miles / 5:22 hours / 1599 gain; with two cars some our group walked from Stonewall Rd while cars were spotted waiting for a second return at hikes end, resting in a warm sun]

  Leader: Jean Laverdure  Participants: Ellen Kozlowski, Sharon Bonk, Dave Cedar, Mike Boucher, John Tifft, Kevin Cox






April 9 - Appalachian Trail Survey
This was our first trek of the 2016 year of our section of the Appalachian Trail. It's main purpose was to inspect the trail for any large tree blowdown and to report it to those qualified with chainsaws to come back later to take care of it. We saw a couple of instances of potential danger of leaning rotted trees, and one log lying right in the trail which was too difficult for us to simply move out of the way. It also appeared as if part of the Housatonic had eroded the bank closer to the trail, since last year. Otherwise, it was a gorgeous day just for being out on this flat, but still varied section of the trail.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Jean Laverdure, Ellen Kozlowski, Mike Boucher, Kevin Cox, Dave Esmond




March 30 - Hike Huyck Preserve
Eleven of us gathered to hike the beautiful Myositis Lake Trail in the Huyck Preserve. We had a bumpy start, scrambling to find parking as the parking lot was closed due to work being done on the Visitor Center roof. Once that was resolved by gaining permission to park in the large parking lot of the Diner up the road, we had a gorgeous day with temperatures in the 50's and enjoyed the lake, the bubbling brook, and the waterfalls this trail is known for. The falls were numerous and as spectacular as ever.

  Leader: Ellen Kozlowski  Participants: Mary O'Connell, Nancy Crowther, Will Crowther, Dee Portzer, Barbara Mullin, Shelley Sheehy, Donna Pierce, Debbie Keane, Lynn Bethany, David Le Vine






March 26 - Bennett Hill and Keleher Perserves
It was a blustery 39F when 9 people started up Bennett Hill which afforded a couple of good views. Five continued on to Keleher for an additional 3 miles. Keleher has provided a ridge walk of almost a mile with great views of Bennett Hill and Albany. The promised sunshine was with us for our Keleher hike.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Ellen Kozlowski, Will Crowther, Nancy Crowther, Claudia Rosenholz, Bill Hetzer, Gerry Weber, Janet Twordzik, Dorothy Russell and Luggs

Bennett Hill





March 19 - Hunter Mountain
Although the number of participants dropped from an initial twelve (a few potential hikers from New York)to eight, we were a combination of three accomplished ADK club hikers, one 111'r, one potential 111'r, a very active AMC and Meetup hiker and two regular AMC hikers. Our route took us up the Spruceton trail to the summit. I think the concensus of our group was that the actual accomplishment of hiking the trail differs greatly from the impression one gets in reading descriptions of the trail in guide books. Our group enjoyed climbing the tower and having lunch amongst many other hikers. We decided to do the loop by taking the connecting trail to the Devils Path, because the thought of returning via the Spruceton Trail was less enticing than continuing on the loop. Thanks to John Susko, Jean Laverdure and Claudia Rosenholz who agreed to provide leadership through this section as the leader had had limited experience with it. Thoughout the day we enjoyed a cloudless, blue sky with plenty of sun providing for clear views from the numerous view points along the way. After about 9 miles of hiking we arrived back at the trail head.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Claudia Rosenholz, Dan Forbush, John Susko, Ellen Kozlowski, Jean Laverdure, Lori McCarron, Deb Richards






March 5 - Huyck Preserve
There's a great deal of relatively newly created trails on the northern section of the Huyck Preserve. In keeping with our intention to explore some, but not all of this biologically diverse land, we completed two of the loops in their entirety, but left the third loop for another time. What's fascinating about traversing this preserve, is finding oneself, at one point in very decidedly pine woods and at another point, finding that you are walking amongst an entirely different kind of woods. We, through the use of Jean's GPS walked to the high point of the preserve, and although there is no "view" per se it afforded us the opportunity to further explore the preserve. We enjoyed a lunch fairly near to Ten Mile Creek and returned by taking the opposite routes around the two loops. Afterwards, we drove to the fabulous Falls view close to the main parking lot. We attempted to reach the second view of the Falls, but all one of our participants (Ellen) was brave enough to climb down the icy descent.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Janet Twardzik, Jean Laverdure, Ellen Kozlowski






February 27 - Alford Springs
On Saturday, February 27th, our group of Mohawk-Hudson Chapter members enjoyed a introduction to another Berkshire Natural Resources Council Property. Alford Springs Reserve, bordering on NY state, commands about 2 miles of the beautiful Taconic ridgeline overlooking Alford Valley. An old logging road rises and falls with the landscape, this winter day being but of dusting of snow covered ground (easy walking) with much in the way of any hidden ice. The BNRC allows for hiking, geo caching, horseback riding, mountain biking and hunting with blackberries in season, while motorized vehicles are strictly prohibited. The elongated loop is a mowed trail with a connector trail through it's middle. After a steep leveling climb northward, the feature vista of Alford, West Stockbridge, and swathes of farmland soon come into view. The trail quickly descends through cleared forest giver over view to the far off mother of mountains, Greylock. At its descent, the trail bends back along a stream passing by an old overgrown delapitated town road that connected Ma. to N.Y. which we walked to a border monument just beyond dated 1898. Now with an easy incline, we reached southward to a four way junction (the connector going west) and here went east up to a sheltered lunch among pine sheltered rhododendrons. Back at the junction, we followed the loop out into the end of Mountain Road simply waking the quarter mile southwest to the trail head. we enjoyed ourselves hiking (in quiet and converse) 5.07 nukes in 3.21 hours on a relatively warm, clear, blue sunny day in acres of diverse and ecologically valuable forest-scape.

  Leader: Jean Laverdure  Participants: Sharon Bonk, Ellen Kozlowski, Mary McConnell, John Tifft




February 22 - Five Rivers Hike
This was planned as a cross country ski trip but nature did not cooperate, and there was no snow at all. It was a very pleasant hike in the woods near the Five Rivers Environmental Education Center. We had good weather. The trails were fine with a little mud. We had our lunch inside the visitor's center at the window looking out on the bird feeders. The center had set up a baby monitor near the feeders, so we could hear the birds chirping.

  Leader: Nancy Crowther  Participants: Barbara Mullin, Kevin Sheehan, Barbara Sheehan, Dee Portzer, Anne Finch

The whole group, with help from Photoshop to include the photographer.





February 20 - Goodnow Mountain
In spite of anticipated snow/rain, the four of us took on the Goodnow hike with an anticipation of the precipitation being not all that heavy. It did start to rain about halfway up, with some snowflakes seen at the higher elevation. We d decided on using microspikes as the snow cover didn't seem to be too deep. It turned out to be an good choice and they were definitely needed at some very icy and a little frightening areas. The tower at the top turned out to be open at the top. There was a great difference in the wind speed between the top and the bottom. The temperature and wind speed were comfortable enough below the tower so that we ate our lunch there at and then made our way down.

  Leader: Ellen Kozlowski  Participants: John Tifft, Dave Esmond, Mary McConell






February 5 - Dyken Pond Winter Walk
Four of us walked to the edge of the Newcomb Swamp area looking for signs of the proposed trails leading into the newest parcel of land added to the Dyken Pond Environmental Center. Although we were able to walk to the edge of the swamp we were not able to find the trails. We continued on the
Spring, Teal, and Long trails and walked across the frozen swamp south of the road to return to the upper parking lot after a 3+ mile loop.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Dave Esmond, Marcia Hopple, Tina Linden




January 27 - Schenectady County Forest snowshoe
This was planned as a ski trip but we have had almost no snow, so it became a hike. Because of the uneven surfaces from frozen leaves, most of us wore snowshoes. It was a very pleasant 5K hike in the woods.

  Leader: Nancy Crowther, Will Crowther  Participants: Ellen Kozlowski, Gerry Weber, Anne Finch, Dee Portzer






January 23 - Greenville (Vanderbilt) Town Park
Another nearby hidden treasure was revealed to us by Jean Laverdure. The hike of about 4 miles provided views of the Catskills, a rushing creek, many, many, dogs with their owners, evidence of past agricultural activity, a perplexing man made artifact, and a relaxing lunch seated at a pond located on the property. The day was very clear, and there was no need for even microspikes as there was practically no snow.

  Leader: Jean Laverdure  Participants: John Tifft, Ellen Kozlowski, Will Crowther, Nancy Crowther




January 23 - Black Mountain Loop
We started from the Pike Brook Road trailhead. It was 11 degrees when we started to hike. We decided to use microspikes.It was lightly snowing. When we got to the summit, the winds were strong. We did not linger at the summit. As we went down towards the lake, the sky started to clear. Jeff was able to take some photos. We had lunch at the Black Mt. Pond lean-to. From there, it was a easy hike out.

  Leader: Kevin Cox  Participants: Jeff Chase




January 6 - Berlin Mountain
It was a great day to hike the Taconic Crest Trail. The temperature was 20 degrees at the trailhead. There were great views of the Catskills and the Berkshires.

  Leader: Kevin Cox  Participants: John Susko, Michael Boucher





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